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A Story About Ignorance That Resonated With Me

I would like to tell you an old story from India.

Four brothers were on their way home through a forest, after having studied for years with a Master teacher. Three of the brothers were brilliant, but the fourth was a simpleton whom they laughed at. The simpleton, however, had great commonsense.

The brothers came across a pile of bones.

“I am so clever,” said the first brother, “that I can make these bones come together.” He uttered magic words and, with a clatter and a clang, the bones came together to form a skeleton.

“I am so clever,” remarked the second one, “that I can cover these bones with flesh, blood and hair.” In no time the bones took on flesh, and the beast was revealed to be a full-grown lion.

“And I am so clever,” added the third one, “that I can breathe life into this animal.”

“Oh no, I beg you,” exclaimed the fourth despised brother, “don’t do that!”

“I will. I need to show off my cleverness,” insisted the third brother.

“If you must, then give me time to climb to the top of a tree.”

The fourth brother was barely up the tree before the impatient third brother uttered the magic words he knew. In no time the beast had sprung on all the brothers on the ground and torn them to pieces.

Only the brother regarded as a simpleton lived to tell the tale.

“That is like the nations of the world,” Banjo said when I told him this story. “They are too obsessed with their own cleverness to have commonsense. They are constantly producing weapons of destruction. Meanwhile, tribal people, whom they despise, have the answer.”

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This entry was posted on Friday, September 11th, 2009 at 8:03 am and is filed under Industry News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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